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‘Lockdown created a monster’ - Cooking fanatic sets up caravan pizza business

PUBLISHED: 05:45 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:34 11 October 2020

Francesca Cornish with one of her homemade pizzas - served from her pizza caravan Frankie & Joey's. Photo: Francesca Cornish

Francesca Cornish with one of her homemade pizzas - served from her pizza caravan Frankie & Joey's. Photo: Francesca Cornish

Archant

A woman who became “obsessed” with making the perfect lockdown pizza has set up her own restaurant-on-wheels - and plans to bring a bit of Italy to villages along the coast.

Frankie & Joey's Pizza Van can be found on Facebook at @frankieandjoeys or on instagram @frankie_joeys. Photo: Francesca CornishFrankie & Joey's Pizza Van can be found on Facebook at @frankieandjoeys or on instagram @frankie_joeys. Photo: Francesca Cornish

Francesca Cornish, 31, lives in Reedham near Great Yarmouth - and until recently was a full-time single mum.

“I’ve always been into cooking, but until my youngest daughter Imogen, five, started school full-time, I didn’t have the time to explore it”, she said.

“Lockdown sort of created a monster. I became obsessed with making the perfect pizza. I’ve gone to Italy so many times, and even did a pizza course in Rome.

“In the past, I’ve backed off starting my own business when things have got difficult, but I thought: this time is going to be different.”

Francesca Cornish's new pizza caravan has proved to be a hit in Reedham - but now she wants to take it all over the Norfolk Coast. Photo: Francesca CornishFrancesca Cornish's new pizza caravan has proved to be a hit in Reedham - but now she wants to take it all over the Norfolk Coast. Photo: Francesca Cornish

Initially, Miss Cornish tried converting her garage into a pizza-cooking space, but her landlord wasn’t impressed.

Then she tried using her kitchen - but soon discovered that was too small for such a mammoth job.

“That’s when I started scouring GumTree, and found a £250 static caravan for sale”, she said.

“We got some wheels and welded them on. I don’t know how we managed to get it home and onto my driveway.”

Francesca and Joey (left), with Francesca's two children Finlay (7) and Imogen (5) as they sit in the caravan before it was converted into the restaurant. Photo: Francesca CornishFrancesca and Joey (left), with Francesca's two children Finlay (7) and Imogen (5) as they sit in the caravan before it was converted into the restaurant. Photo: Francesca Cornish

After what Miss Cornish described as a “labour of love” in turning the caravan into a mini-restaurant, it is finally ready to begin life on-the-go.

She said: “We just have to wait for the council to give us a five star food hygiene rating, and we’ll be ready to start making journeys around the villages with our caravan, named Frankie & Joey’s in honour of me and my first-ever boyfriend, Joey, getting back together after all these years.”

The plan is to take the caravan around coastal villages - going as far as Lowestoft and north Norfolk.

MORE: Lockdown doughnut takeaway van puts success down to social media

Francesca Cornish's new pizza caravan was a Francesca Cornish's new pizza caravan was a "labour of love", and needed a LOT of work when she first bought it in June. Photo: Francesca Cornish

“The idea was partly inspired by Reedham”, she said, “because the village is just crying out for a pizza delivery service.”

One of Frankie and Joey’s first events will be at Burgh House care home next weekend, where Miss Cornish’s 86-year-old nan is a resident.

She said: “I can’t wait to see her for the first time in months. Since the care home changed the rules around visiting - this is my only shot. She’s going to love it when she sees me rock up in this thing.”

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